Monday, 13 February 2012

At Home with Books

One of the best coffee-table books out there, At Home with Books combines many of my interests:  a Book about Books, with advice on organising the Book library and how to start a Book collection...   Starting with the history of book keeping and collecting (another of my interests), we are first immersed into the libraries of serious collectors... Many of the well-known families present their work of love for the books they own, some passed from generation to generation.

At home... combines beautiful photographs that showcase the libraries, pointing to those details that make these rooms extraordinary, with text that explains the various elements of the specific library with a touch of history and insight into the passion and the reason for being a book lover, a book admirer, a book collector.

And it is this book that got me thinking about my own library, which I love and cannot get enough from on the one hand, and the  rise of the electronic format that makes it so much easier to get hold of and read books on the other.  Much as I have yielded to the comfort of my Kindle, I cannot resist a well-stocked library with old and new editions, rare editions and even those smelly time-worn editions (note:  twice a year, I flip through the pages of all my books to aerate them and to avoid this musky smell).  
My library (plus office, guest room and whatever other need...) is the room  where I have a great time every time.

The book continues with  individual sections describing libraries of designers, of writers, of people who take pride in their wall-to-wall libraries and of those who escape in them.  There are many kinds of book lovers portrayed in the book, but the one that really surprised me was Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.  Someone who I, shamefully I admit, would not even think could read a newspaper, turns out not only to be an avid reader with a particular interest in history, but to admit something that I fully comprehend "reading is the antidote of boredom".  True, I have yet to meet a reader feeling bored...  On the contrary, I have realised that if anything, book reading provides an outlet enhancing one's life and a shelter from whatever harsh situation there is out there... Keep calm and read a book!


  1. I am always envious of people who have a room dedicated to books, unfortunately mine also doubles as spare room and study and is too small to hold all my books, so my entire flat is a library :))

    1. this is actually the main reason I converted to Kindle - people were no longer able to move freely around the house, so full was it of books! (well, it still is...)

    2. Myriam15/2/12

      What! A kindle! I would never thought that of you!! I'm joking. our home is also full of crumbling piles of books but it creates such a warm atmosphere. I must definitely read this book.

    3. I know and fully agree! I think that in future, I'll first read in Kindle, and then if I know I will want the book in my library I will buy it in some posh leather-bound edition...




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